Labour supports residents’ case at West Hendon Public Enquiry

A two-week Public Enquiry into the regeneration of the West Hendon Estate has been granted to give residents the opportunity to bring their fight for fairness and justice against Barnet Council and developer Barratts before an independent Inspector. West Hendon Labour councillors Adam Langleben and Devra Kay will be there supporting residents and speaking on their behalf.

Labour's West Hendon councillors have submitted statements to the Public Enquiry into the West Hendon estate regeneration calling for Barnet council to treat residents living on the estate fairly. Residents had originally been balloted on a completely different scheme to the current plans, a scheme that included promises to provide every resident with a brand new home in the new development, provide a choice of where to move, provide residents with a real say in the regeneration and to buy homeowners properties at current housing prices. None of these promises are being kept.

Cllr Adam Langleben's and Cllr Devra Kay's submissions to the Public Enquiry which begins on 20 January detail that:

  • Only 250 of the new homes will be for social or 'affordable' rent – the original estate had 680 homes at social rent, and there are currently 449 social rented homes on the estate.  This means the new plans reduce the number of social rented homes by 430 or 63% of what was there originally, and by 199 or 44% from what is currently on the estate.
  • Not all residents will be provided with a brand new home on the development.
  • Only secure tenants are being given a choice of landlord – a third of residents on the estate are non-secure tenants who have been living there for up to 12 years, but will not be re-housed in the new development, and may not be re-housed in Barnet at all.
  • Residents are not being given a choice about where they move.
  • ‘Derisory’ purchase offers - Homeowners are not being offered current housing prices to compensate them for the loss of their homes – leaseholders are being offered approximately £170,000 for a two bedroom property when the average house price for NW9 is around £388,000 (Zoopla index).
  • Major works are being undertaken while regeneration construction is underway contrary to what was promised – leaseholders are each facing bills for major works of tens of thousands of pounds in some cases even though their properties will shortly be demolished.

The West Hendon councillors are calling for Barnet council and the developer partner – Barratt Metropolitan – to ensure the West Hendon estate residents benefit from the regeneration and do not lose out. The submissions ask the Inspector to consider ways Barnet could remedy the problem including:

  • That the number of social homes provided by the regeneration are increased to re-house all current tenants
  • That non-secure tenants are upgraded so they are not moved several times and are made up to 3 offers of rehousing
  • That leaseholders are compensated with fair market house prices for the loss of their homes
  • That leaseholders are given a fair repayment scheme on major works bills / LB Barnet meet the cost of electrical works that should have taken place ten years ago

Cllr Adam Langleben said: "West Hendon’s residents have been betrayed by the council and the developer – none of the promises are being kept and Barnet are relying on a ballot of residents undertaken years ago on a totally different scheme as consent for a new scheme that does not meet local need. I really hope the Inspector will see this and instruct them to honour their original pledges."

Cllr Devra Kay said: "This is not regeneration, it is re-development. The Conservative Council and developer Barratts put profit before people. Tenants and leaseholders are being treated disgracefully as they face an uncertain future. The Enquiry will allow their case to be heard by an independent Inspector and we support them wholeheartedly."

Notes:

1. Copies of both submissions by Cllrs Langleben & Kay are attached.

2. Details of the West Hendon estate enquiry can be found:

http://www.west-hendon.co.uk/how-will-it-affect-me_cp01-public-inquiry/

3. Details of Labour’s call to ensure a fair repayment scheme for leaseholders:

http://betterbarnet.nationbuilder.com/tories_spitefully_punish_leaseholders_in_vote_against

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For further details please contact:

Cllr Adam Langleben: cllr.a.langleben@barnet.gov.uk

Cllr Devra Kay: cllr.d.kay@barnet.gov.uk

To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568

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commented 2015-01-12 21:28:49 +0000 · Flag
Everyone should support the Tenants and Residents of the West Hendon Estate. Let’s hope they prevail. Congratulations to Labour Cllrs Devra Kay and Adam Langleben on their stirling support for a just cause.

Glyn Thomas
Barnet Labour | Working hard for a Better Barnet



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